22 days in Hokkaido, Hakuba-mura & Shikoku Itinerary

22 days in Hokkaido, Hakuba-mura & Shikoku Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan itinerary planner

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Route & dates

Start: Brisbane
Fly + Drive:  20 h 30 min
1
Niseko-cho
— 4 nights
Drive:  30 min
2
Kutchan-cho
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
3
Asahikawa
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h 30 min
4
Sapporo
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + Taxi + Train:  5 h 45 min
5
Hakuba-mura
— 4 nights
+5
Shuttle + Train + Foot + Subway + Tram + Fly:  6 h 45 min
6
Takamatsu
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
7
Matsuyama
— 2 nights
Fly:  14 h 45 min
End: Brisbane

4
nights
Niseko-cho

Niseko-cho ©
Ranking as the most popular ski resort in Hokkaido, mountaintop Niseko-cho boasts great slopes and surprisingly vibrant nightlife.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Niseko-cho: Rusutsu Resort Amusement Park (in Rusutsu-mura), Showashinzan (in Sobetsu-cho) and Noboribetsu (Onibokora & Noboribetsu Date Historic Village). There's still lots to do: hit the slopes at Niseko Village Ski Resort, head outdoors with Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area, make a trip to Cape Chikyu, and snap pictures at Hakucho Bridge.

For where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Niseko-cho vacation tool.

Brisbane, Australia to Niseko-cho is an approximately 20.5- hour combination of flight and car. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Brisbane to Niseko-cho due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Brisbane in December, things will get colder in Niseko-cho: highs are around 3°C and lows about -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Kutchan-cho.

Things to do in Niseko-cho

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Noboribetsu, Muroran, Rusutsu Resort Amusement Park, Showashinzan
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Niseko Village Ski Resort ©
Niseko Village Ski Resort
Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort ©
Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort
Hokkaido Backcountry Club ©
Hokkaido Backcountry Club

3
nights
Kutchan-cho

Kutchan-cho ©
Kutchan-cho's reputation rests on two things: skiing and potatoes.
Step out of Kutchan-cho with an excursion to Kiroro Snow World in Akaigawa-mura--about 42 minutes away. There's much more to do: hit the slopes at Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Ski Place, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, head outdoors with Niseko Hanazono Resort, and relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find photos, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Kutchan-cho sightseeing planning website.

Kutchan-cho is just a short distance from Niseko-cho. Traveling from Niseko-cho in December, expect nights in Kutchan-cho to be about the same, around -2°C, while days are little chillier, around 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) so you can go by car to Asahikawa.

Things to do in Kutchan-cho

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trip

Kiroro Snow World
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Niseko Mountain Resort  Grand Hirafu Ski Place ©
Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Ski Place
Niseko Hanazono Resort ©
Niseko Hanazono Resort
Spas

2
nights
Asahikawa

Asahikawa ©
Perched on the confluence of four rivers and surrounded by green hills, Asahikawa combines a modern city experience with the pristine nature nearby.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Sun): hit the slopes at Asahiyama Yuki no Mura, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Asahiyama Zoo, then relax in the rural setting at Ueno Farm, then get in on the family fun at Asahikawa Ramen Village, and finally examine the collection at Otokoyama Sakezukuri Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Asahikawa Station, visit Seven Stars Tree, admire the natural beauty at Shikisai no Oka, admire the sheer force of Shirahige Falls, then contemplate the waterfront views at Shirogane Blue Pond, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Biei Shrine.

To see reviews, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Asahikawa road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Kutchan-cho to Asahikawa takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Kutchan-cho in January: highs in Asahikawa hover around -6°C, while lows dip to -9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a train to Sapporo.

Things to do in Asahikawa

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Biei-cho
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Asahiyama Zoo ©
Asahiyama Zoo
Shirogane Blue Pond ©
Shirogane Blue Pond
Shirahige Falls ©
Shirahige Falls

3
nights
Sapporo

Sapporo ©
A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Sapporo: Otaru (Shibusawa Soko, Former Maebori Store, &more). There's still lots to do: walk around Odori Park, ponder the world of politics at Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Moiwa, and get great views at Sapporo TV Tower.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Sapporo trip builder tool.

You can take a train from Asahikawa to Sapporo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Sapporo are -3°C, while nighttime lows are -6°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can travel to Hakuba-mura.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Nature Shopping

Side Trip

Otaru
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Odori Park ©
Odori Park
Otaru Canal ©
Otaru Canal
Sapporo Underground Shopping Centre Aurora Town ©

4
nights
Hakuba-mura

Hakuba-mura ©
Skiing enthusiasts traveling in Japan should consider a trip to Hakuba-mura: tucked away in the Northern Alps, this village hosted several competitions during the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics.
Venture out of the city with trips to Daio Wasabi Farm (in Azumino), Yamanouchi-machi (Sake Storehouse Art Museum - Gallery Tamamura Honten, Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, &more) and Matsumoto (Kaichi Gakko Primary School, Matsumoto Castle, &more). There's still lots to do: get outside with Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort, take in the awesome beauty at Happoone, trek along Happo-one Nature Study Course, and indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens.

To see other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read Hakuba-mura attractions site.

You can do a combination of flight and train from Sapporo to Hakuba-mura in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, train, and shuttle; or do a combination of flight, train, and shuttle. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Sapporo in January: highs in Hakuba-mura hover around 3°C, while lows dip to -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Takamatsu.

Things to do in Hakuba-mura

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Yamanouchi-machi, Matsumoto, Daio Wasabi Farm
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort ©
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort

2
nights
Takamatsu

Takamatsu ©
A modern city and a major transport hub facing Seto Inland Sea, Takamatsu offers a bustling city lifestyle contrasted with carefully manicured, tranquil green areas at the foot of the mountains and the lava plateau.
On the 12th (Tue), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Yashima, take an in-depth tour of Shikoku Mura Village, then contemplate the long history of Kikugetsutei, then go for a walk through Ritsurin Garden, and finally look for gifts at Kagawa Bussankan Ritsurinan. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the long history of Kyu Zentsujikaikosya, contemplate the long history of Kotohira-gu, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Zentsu-ji Temple, then explore the historical opulence of Marugame Castle, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ubushina Shrine.

To find photos, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Takamatsu route builder website.

You can do a combination of shuttle, train, and flight from Hakuba-mura to Takamatsu in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle, train, flight, and bus. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Hakuba-mura in January: high temperatures in Takamatsu hover around 8°C and lows are around 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Matsuyama.

Things to do in Takamatsu

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Zentsuji, Kotohira-gu, Ubushina Shrine, Marugame Castle
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Kotohira-gu ©
Kotohira-gu
Ritsurin Garden
Ritsurin Garden
Kikugetsutei ©
Kikugetsutei

2
nights
Matsuyama

Matsuyama ©
Matsuyama features a number of historical sites and acts as a gateway for exploring the rest of Shikoku.
On the 14th (Thu), look for gifts at Mikan Yokocho Ropewaygai-branch, explore the historical opulence of Matsuyama Castle, test the waters at a local thermal spa, make a trip to Bocchan Wind up Clock, then make a trip to Shinrokaku, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Ishiteji. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Ozu Castle, don't miss a visit to Garyu Sanso, then steep yourself in history at Streets in Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas, then get engrossed in the history at Mokuro Shiryokan Kamihagatei, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yuge Shrine.

To see maps, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Matsuyama online vacation planner.

You can drive from Takamatsu to Matsuyama in 2 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Matsuyama

Historic Sites Museums Spas

Side Trips

Uchiko-cho, Ozu
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Matsuyama Castle ©
Matsuyama Castle
Thermal Spas
Ishiteji ©
Ishiteji

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